Monday, February 05, 2007

Time for Grisham

It is finally too cold to go for my usual walk outdoors. Strong winds and an arctic air mass have our temperature at -20C with a wind chill of -33C, enough to freeze skin in a few minutes. The dog cannot tolerate this cold either, and while he bounds outdoors with enthusiasm, he is barking to come in after he is finished his duties.

I saw an ice rainbow around the sun as it rose today, shining through the blowing snow that rose into the atmosphere. I took a short walk at noon by the river as it is somewhat protected by the banks and bluffs. The snow that lodged in the teasel heads turned them into little directional compasses showing where the prevailing winds came from.

We are sharing this cold air mass with our neighbours to the south after weeks and months of enjoying warmer air coming north from the Gulf of Mexico. It is cold in the house, especially in my office and our bedroom as both rooms are over the garage. The floor is always cold here in this weather. Yesterday I wrapped myself in two layers of clothes with heated rollers in my hair, a blanket around my shoulders, and my warm laptop on my knees. A hot bath before bed guaranteed warm feet for sleeping. (I have actually been colder in Mexico in December, where the temperature dips to 0C and there is no central heat available!)

I have a folding treadmill, which usually stays upright in the corner. I find it tediously boring and the best way to make time drag. Thirty minutes seems like two hours, unless…
… I read John Grisham. Each winter, when it gets too cold to be outdoors, I re-read his novels while I walk the treadmill. They are well written, easy to read, and the action is fast enough that I do not notice the time. The page layout and print is the right size for reading while moving. My favourites are The Street Lawyer and The Testament, with The Client following close behind. There have been several copy cat lawyer novels that have followed Grisham’s success, but in my estimation, few are as well written.

Indoor exercise can be a drag, and in this weather it is easier to sit on the sofa eating lots of warm comfort food. One of my patients who lived in Manitoba told me I was a wimp. “This isn’t cold at all! Why I walked to school and played outdoors when it was 40 below,” he cajoled.

Well tonight is too cold for a walk, and too cold to sit on this bench on the hospital grounds, so I will be saying hello to the treadmill and The Testament for the first time this year.


  1. What a cold snap! I've been that cold before. We're cold now but our cold can't compare, Ruth. I wish you more Grisham, warm feet, a dog snuggling under a cover, and warmer days. Hang in there...

    I didn't walk today, either. The wind made my eyes water and I couldn't focus the camera. I quit after two minutes. Should I wear goggles?

  2. I'm finally getting some reading in the last few nights just before bed. Don't know that I could read while walking on the treadmill!

  3. Goggles and a camera would be too funny, Mary. I am sure the weather will be warmer next week. My Canadian co-worker is golfing in NC this week and brought the cursed cold along.

    Laura- I am sure most people would rather watch TV while they exercised. I find TV is not distracting enough for me.

  4. LauraO- You have very cold temperatures as well! especially if you are used to Florida warmth. I enjoy Grisham, but also like to hear about what other people are reading. I end up re-reading a lot of books because it takes me a while to find books I really like.


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